The fall athletics season at Belmont Hill is truly unprecedented. Not only have practices been changed to meet state health guidelines, but Belmont Hill is offering spring sports along with the traditional fall sports for the first session. This variety during the fall is appreciated. Jack Barry ‘21 opted for lacrosse and he pointed out that his ability to play this fall “[is] a nice way to make up for the spring season.” Spring athletes across campus were devastated by the cancellation of sports last spring, and the school allowing the spring sports to practice shows Belmont Hill’s care for the students.
The requirement to wear masks during sports brings a new challenge to the athletes. Cross-Country captain Sreetej Digumarthi ‘21 ran a timed mile with mask on, and described the workout as, “A lot harder than one without a mask”. Additionally, the more casual setting of the fields normally leads to many new friendships, but this year it is harder to get to know your teammates. Water breaks are six feet apart, and students are constantly reminded to socially distance. The coaches are forced to modify their drills. Lacrosse can not play full 1v1 contact, a past favorite of Coach Sullivan. The rowing team’s training is much different this year. In past years, the crews trained in four- and eight-man boats, but with Covid, these large boats are not possible. Coach Richards has had to get as many singles, pairs, and doubles as possible to make sure every team member can get on the water. Regarding the new boat classes, Tyler Forg ‘21 stated that, “Although the team misses rowing in the bigger, faster boats, everyone is incredibly grateful to be on the water, improving their skill in the more technical small boats.
Sports this fall have given students a sense of normalcy, even more so with the introduction of scrimmages for some teams. The first three weeks of school without sports felt incomplete. Sports at Belmont Hill are a great teacher of humility and determination. Athletes are thankful that the school is allowing sports to be played safely this fall.